Not ripoff, refinement.
Seriously though, when you compare SC to other RTS's of its time (such as red alert 2), it still comes out ahead because even though it does the same thing, it does it better, and that's what really matters.
Don't forget that our beloved Freespace is just a "rip off" of Tie-Fighter.
Call it what you will, its still unoriginality
As for comparing RA2 to SC I wont go trough there, since its highly debatable (some people might prefer SC, others prefr RA2)
And I never said otherwise about our beloved Freespace either
I completely understand what you mean...but I'm not convinced there are too many new ways of putting together a game. I think all of the major genres have been thought of and the only room left is to combine genres together to create some sort of mix and match setups.
That all said I was quite interested and surprised by a game that my friend showed me last night...for the Wii...part of a downloadable game that was only 30-40mb. Its a platformer but you essentially draw on the screen what your interactions are with the game world. Want your character to land softly...well draw a series of squiggles around the bottom of the character as he falls. Bash enemies by essentially drawing on them. It was kinda neat...and I suppose innovative. But its still a platformer too so I don't know.
I think that if Blizzard, since they are the topic, were to do something new and innovative it shouldn't be done with SC2. It should be done with a new game altogether.
Well, IMO genres are just conventions, so basically you can have a bazillion ways to make, say an FPS (or an RTS, or whatever). For example portal is considered an FPS, and its still original\innovative, same goes for Prey: a couple of features - that gravity and mirrors thingy - made for a truly different FPS experience, the whole game was build on those features, and in the end it payed off, gameplay wise. Their still FPSes, but their innovative.
If you want more, search YouTube for Neurosky or MetaMersion.
I believe thats enough to convince you
As for Blizzard, I really dont care if they do SC2 or if they do Jack the Ripper XII, as long as they do something that clearly is a fresh breeze.